Melbourne car attack an isolated incident, says PM Turnbull

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Melbourne car attack an isolated incident, says PM Turnbull


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Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said an attack involving a car in Melbourne was a “shocking crime” but an “isolated incident”.

A 32-year old Australian of Afghan descent drove his car into pedestrians on Thursday, injuring 19 people.

Police said the arrested man had a history of mental illness and drug abuse but no known extremist links.

Mr Turnbull said the attacker had “attributed his actions to perceived mistreatment of Muslims”.

Investigations were continuing, he said, but at this stage there were “no known links to any political issues, or any links to extremist groups.”

The prime minister also said that nine foreign nationals were among the injured.

According to media reports, these include three South Korean tourists, as well as tourists from China and Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland, and New Zealand.

The attacker drove a car into Melbourne’s busy Flinders Street on Thursday afternoon.

He was arrested by an off-duty police officer.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Police have cordoned off the area by Flinders Street station

On Friday morning, streets in the city centre reopened and trams were operating as usual.

Police said a second man arrested at the scene was released and expected to be charged with possession of cannabis and a controlled weapon.

The charges are not linked to the car attack.



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